Sunday, April 14, 2002

In Retrospect


We were meant to start Branch drinks at 4.30pm. At 5pm I clicked send and pushed the overdue report into the ether. The Branch head had decided he didn't like where we'd put some commas and some semicolons, and had put off making editorial changes for two days, thus holding off release. I was unhappy, not because I was in any particular rush to drink, but because the changes were really minor and inconsequential. The first social event as a new reorganised Branch went well, everyone seemed to let their hair down enough to let the stress of the week go before heading off for the weekend.

From work I stopped in at the pub for TJ's birthday drinks to find that the guest of honour was running late, by about an hour, so I chatted to 'Trines and Kelly for a few minutes, then came home to change before returning.

I came back to the pub through the back door and was a little concerned when the girls weren't in the chairs they were in 15 minutes before. The birthday boy had arrived and the group had taken up position just inside the front door and quickly moved to occupy the big oval table in the corner.

It was really good catching up with the Level 5 crew; Barb and Bolts, TJ and the newly-returned-from-o/s Julia and Mike and Gen whom I don't see nearly enough of. Barb and I talked over her driver rehab work which was quite interesting and concerning at the same time. Catching up with Mike and Gen was long overdue. Gen (who I haven't seen for a few months now) had a new 'do' and looked really good, radiant even. I didn't recognise Julia to begin with as she'd gone platinum blonde while she was away.

After he'd encountered some miscreant in the bathroom* Mike, Gen and I ducked over to Sizzle Bento for some dinner around 9pm I think; catching up with Combo A was also long overdue. Gen decided to try a canned mango drink and we started talking about pulp in juice (which I love) and Mike revealed that in the States there is a juice company that bottles its juices "Lots o Pulp", "Some Pulp" and "No Pulp" varieties - cool.

Back into the pub for a while; Bolts and Barb head off, Mike and Gen head off, Dan and Shannon arrive, crazy talk ensues. I headed over to the collective** who were standing over in the usual standing spot until some seated real estate became available. Tyson, Tats and Brett had entered the drunk room*** early in the evening and had run off while I was eating dinner to meet a bunch of Brett's graduate colleagues at In Blue, but Richard, Louise, Kat and Chris were around and Ms S arrived soon after.

After Richard & Lou and Kat & Chris headed off, an old friend of Tyson's tried to introduce himself with a different name to Ms S, but didn't remember we'd met him about three weeks ago at the pub. It turned out that Shawn (Sean?) also knew Oliver, who was the guy who helped me out in Sydney ("small world" must be one of the most used phrases in Canberra).

Ms S was paying particular attention to a well-built lad in a yellow shirt that looked more like a tablecloth, so I told her to go talk to him and when she didn't I dared her. Her 'in' was that he was wearing glasses, so she went up & said something along the lines of "Can I have a look at your glasses? My friends and I need to get some new ones and yours look cool." to which he replied as he handed them over "These are very expensive; break them and I'll break your friend." to which Ms S retorted "Well I earn a lot of money and I can replace them, and I'm bigger than you are." and began talking to yellow-shirt's friends when he walked away as his friends laughed at him for being outdone by a girl. When Ms S returned and told us of this exchange I couldn't believe how much of a wanker this guy was - I mean who threatens someone else when they can't threaten the person they're talking to? What sort of dimwit was he?!

I headed home soon after and was asleep by around 1am.


It'd been a big week and I slept very deeply. I got up just before 9am and came out into the lounge to watch some Rage while I decided what to do with my day. I hadn't seen Rage in a while and prefer it over Video Hits as Ten Capital doesn't broadcast in stereo and the ABC does, and if you're going to watch music videos they might as well sound good I say. 9am rolls around and the Rage credits are scrolling across the screen! I want my Rage until 11am! In it's place, the ABC has put Saturday Morning Fly, which was not my cup of tea, but I appreciated it as a good marketing tool; Fly TV is one of the ABC's digital channels, so what better way to give people an idea of what's available on that channel than to put a sample couple of hours on the regular channel at a time when your target audience will be watching.

I channel surfed until around 11am, then showered and decided that it was too good a day to be stuck inside. Louise and I had some breakfast and then we skated / scooted into Civic along the lake bike path in front of the High Court and National Gallery. We stopped for Frosty Fruits at Questacon (which had the coolest robotic vacuum-driven ice block vending machine we'd ever seen) and sat in the courtyard and marvelled at the 600+kg granite ball that the little kids were spinning with the aid of water pressure and that the big kids were trying to figure out how to steal. Continuing on, we got some good speed and distance coming down over the bridge and stopped again in Civic for some Splices before heading off to get a hairdryer and some books for Louise. I picked up a Harry Potter Quiddich card game for a few bucks, which I guess will be somewhat like Snap, but I don't know yet as I haven't opened it.

Around 3pm, we headed over to King O'Malley's for James' farewell-for-a-while drinks. James is heading over to Bougainville to be part of the Peace Monitoring Group for the next three months. There were quite a few people there: Mike & Gen, Laura, Erica, Annelie, Ramah, Anoop, Cinthia, Kelly, Katrina, Dan and Shannon, TJ and Julia and the recently-returned Dougie. We sat, we chatted, we played with James' new digital camera. As the afternoon turned to night, Halina's brother Phil rode past on his incredibly expensive mountain bike; we yelled out trick suggestions and he gave 'em a good try, even though he had no idea how we knew his name (he sits a few desks away from me at work) - good sport, even though he sent his friend over to talk to us (that was a bit concerning). We headed inside, munched on wedges, drank beer, puffed on cigars and talked over Shannon's latest venture in the small smokers room upstairs and my killer headache formed. Hunger propelled us to The Pancake Manor for some crepe goodness and afterwards I jumped on a bus (fortuitous timing) and headed home.

Olivia had invited the rest of the collective** to the pub as her friend's band was playing. My opinion of pub bands at Filthy's is well known (it's not positive) so I was quite happy to get the call to the murder flats**** for a night in. I really did want to go to Kat & Chris' place for a big-night-in of games and music and chat somewhere other than the pub, but by the time I got home my vision was blurry, my jaw ached and I felt like I'd had something sharp impaled into my skull. I went to bed at 9.30pm, and this morning I'm very thankful that the Panadol kicked in quickly and that I fell asleep quickly. I'm

I'm also patting myself on the back for going for the skate yesterday instead of putting that off until today - the weather has turned cold and wet in the National Capital today.

* - Someone bumped into Mike in the bathroom, said the usual "Sorry mate", Mike replied with "That's ok mate", and got a serve of "Fucken' suit" for his troubles. It's not like public servants are a rarity at Filthys...
** - The Collective is our name for our little group of friends. Unlike the Borg, however, we do not have a hive mind (if anything far from it) and is heavily SA derived.
***- The Drunk Room is the place you go when you're drunk - duh. Sometimes, however, you can get so drunk that you run into the room, slam the door shut and lock it and then no-one can get as drunk as you. Contrarywise, sometimes you can crawl out of the drunk room with a lot of water.
**** - The Murder Flats is where Kat & Chris live. The name is derived from the fact that they are the units in which the Saudi diplomat was killed a few years ago.

Posted by Dean @ 4/14/2002 11:36:00 am

...Survey says...


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